SAN FRANCISCO (By Dan Levine, Reuters) – A U.S. judge said on Tuesday Uber drivers are entitled to class action status in litigation over whether they are independent contractors or employees, part of a case that could have wide implications for the sharing economy.

Three drivers sued Uber in a federal court in San Francisco, contending they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including gas and vehicle maintenance. The drivers currently pay those costs themselves.